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Man’s fatal shooting in Avon first since ’96

Girlfriend says car was boxed in

Norfolk District Attorney Michael Morrissey and police officials detailed the shooting death of Kristopher Rosa. Norfolk District Attorney Michael Morrissey and police officials detailed the shooting death of Kristopher Rosa. (Robert E. Klein for The Boston Globe)
By Martine Powers
Globe Correspondent / September 21, 2011

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AVON - When Kristopher Rosa, 23, left his father’s home in Avon Monday night, it was only to pay a quick visit to his mother, who lives 10 minutes away. He brought along his girlfriend but reluctantly left his 4-month-old son behind.

After driving a few blocks in their maroon sedan, they realized two cars were following them. One veered in front of their car and the other pulled up behind, boxing in the couple on Central Street, Rosa‘s girlfriend, Davina Mendes, later told his family.

Then shots came through the back window.

Mendes drove Rosa to Good Samaritan Medical Center in Brockton, where he was pronounced dead. It was the first homicide in the small South Shore community since 1996.

He may have been shot by someone he knew, officials said at a news conference yesterday.

“From the information we have to date, this appears to be an isolated incident and not a random act of violence,’’ Norfolk District Attorney Michael Morrissey said yesterday in his Canton office.

Morrissey and Avon Police Chief Warren Phillips would not comment on a motive for the murder.

David Traub, spokesman for the Norfolk district attorney’s office, said he could not comment on Mendes’s account of the shooting.

The autopsy had not yet been performed as of last night. Mendes could not be reached for comment, but Rosa’s family provided details that she had shared with them after the shooting.

Alfredo Rosa, Kristopher’s father, described his son as a respectful and even-keeled man who never lost his temper.

When he called his son to complain about dirty dishes left in the sink, Kristopher would calmly apologize and promise to clean up right away - even if it was one of his siblings who had left the dishes.

Kristopher Rosa was also protective of his family, said his sister, Michelle, , 29. Girls in the family often joked that they did not want Kristopher to join them at parties, because he would interrogate their boyfriends to make sure they were up to snuff.

Michelle Rosa recalled that her brother was terrified when he first heard his girlfriend was expecting a child - he had no idea how to be a father.

But providing for his son, Kristopher Jr., soon became his main priority. He kept the sonograms on display in his room. He asked for extra shifts at work to save up for the child.

“That’s all Kris wanted to do,’’ Alfredo Rosa said. “He was working for his child.’’

He said he could not wait until Kristopher Jr. was 2 or 3 years old, when he would begin walking and talking.

“He loved his son. He loved his son to death,’’ Michelle said.

Jeanie Martins, owner of East Side Market in Brockton, said Kristopher Rosa had worked at the store on and off for several years.

He was dependable - he would always agree to come in for extra shifts - and the customers loved him because he always greeted them with a smile.

Most of all, Martins said, the new father was generous: Monday morning, just hours before his death, Rosa spent half a day cutting overgrown brush and branches in Martins’ backyard. He refused payment.

“He wasn’t just any kid. He was an amazing person,’’ Martins said. “He was exactly the kind of person you need on this earth, so giving and so nice.’’

Martins said she could not imagine why someone would try to hurt Rosa, who she said was like a son to her.

“Whoever did it, they don’t know what they did,’’ Martins said. “That person took a lot of love from a lot of people.’’

Martine Powers can be reached at mpowers@globe.com.